Nigeria: Defense Treaty With India


October 19, 2007: The increased revenue (from oil theft and kidnapping) of gangs in the Niger River Delta oil region, has led to a lot more weapons, particularly cheap AK-47s, being available in the area. This has led to an increase in tribal violence. All that firepower gives the weaker, but now better armed, side in many of these ancient feuds, the attitude that they can just blow away their opponents if they act decisively. The body count is increasing, and there are not enough police to keep all this violence in check.

October 17, 2007: Kidnappers in the Niger Delta have been put off by the increased security for foreigners, and switched to taking parents and children of wealthy politicians. Many politicians are corrupt, and rich, so the kidnappers have hundreds of wealthy men to target. The security forces, however, are stretched thin, and this has allowed criminal gangs to run wild. Common crimes, like robbery, piracy and burglary, are rising. The pirates are particularly embarrassing, but the navy was under tremendous pressure to crack down on oil theft and smuggling (aboard small coastal tankers that moved the stuff to adjacent nations for sale to brokers).

October 15, 2007: A defense treaty was signed with India. There was not much to this deal, it was mostly for show, and to give Indian arms manufacturers an edge when trying to sell to Nigeria. The treaty also encourages more Nigerian officers to be sent to India for training, and more cooperation in preparing for peacekeeping operations.


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